Book 5 - The Order of the Phoenix
through each Snape moment or reference in the book!!
Chapters - 28 & 29
Chapter 4 to 23 Chapter 24 to 27 Chapter 30 to 38
These images: Read at the same line-level in the other column
Long black spaces: intentional spacing to give me more space for analysis!
gold - physical description
red - personality, personal taste
white - character analysis
mauve/purple - facts
grey cells/light yellow - my personal favorites!
absolutely no case must this text be used for other things than
evaluation, fan or inspiration purposes. I do this only to allow other
fans to appreciate the delightful work of JK Rowling and make a full character
analysis of one of her creations.
Harry spent the whole of the next day dreading what Snape was going to say if he found out how much further into the Department of Mysteries Harry had penetrated during his last dream. With a surge of guilt he realised that he had not practised Occlumency once since their last lesson: there had been too much going on since Dumbledore had left; he was sure he would not have been able to empty his mind even if he had tried. He doubted, however, whether Snape would accept that excuse.
He attempted a little last-minute practice during classes that day, but it was no good. Hermione kept asking him what was wrong whenever he fell silent trying to rid himself of all thought and emotion and, after all, the best moment to empty his brain was not while teachers were firing revision questions at the class.
Resigned to the worst, he set off for Snape's office after dinner. Halfway across the Entrance Hall, however, Cho came hurrying up to him.
Finally! He admits it! And just to answer your question, Harry: "No! Snape surely won't take that as an excuse! Especially since the faith of so many people rest on your learning Occlumency! What could be more important than that?! " Oh my! I just realised how Harry will be angry at himself when he realises that Sirius' death is in much part due to his lack of effort! Eek!
I hope those who thought Snape complained about Harry' sloppiness are happy now! True, Snape has prejudices, but I say he's just observant when he says Potter is sloppy and doesn't put in much effort. I say Snape is a pessimist or in other words, he's an optimist with experience !
For the worst indeed! We all know what's going to happen in there after all, but whom will it be worst for? Potter or Snape?
Fuming, Harry descended the stairs to Snape's dungeon and, though he knew from experience how much easier it would be for Snape to penetrate his mind if he arrived angry and resentful, he succeeded in nothing but thinking of a few more things he should have said to Cho about Marietta before reaching the dungeon door.
'You're late, Potter,' said Snape coldly, as Harry closed the door behind him.
Snape was standing with his back to Harry, removing, as usual, certain of his thoughts and placing them carefully in Dumbledores Pensieve. He dropped the last silvery strand into the stone basin and turned to face Harry.
'So,' he said. 'Have you been practising?'
'Yes,' Harry lied, looking carefully at one of the legs of Snape's desk.
'Well, we'll soon find out, won't we?' said Snape smoothly. 'Wand out, Potter.'
Harry moved into his usual position, facing Snape with the desk between them. His heart was pumping fast with anger at Cho and anxiety about how much Snape was about to extract from his mind.
'On the count of three then,' said Snape lazily. 'One - two -'
Snape's office door banged open and Draco Malfoy sped in.
'Professor Snape, sir - oh - sorry -'
Malfoy was looking at Snape and Harry in some surprise.
'It's all right, Draco,' said Snape, lowering his wand. 'Potter is here for a little remedial Potions.'
Harry had not seen Malfoy look so gleeful since Umbridge had turned up to inspect Hagrid.
'I didn't know,' he said, leering at Harry, who knew his face was burning. He would have given a great deal to be able to shout the truth at Malfoy - or, even better, to hit him with a good curse.
'Well, Draco, what is it?' asked Snape.
'It's Professor Umbridge, sir - she needs your help,' said Malfoy. They've found Montague, sir, he's turned up jammed inside a toilet on the fourth floor.'
'How did he get in there?' demanded Snape.
'I don't know, sir, he's a bit confused.'
'Very well, very well. Potter,' said Snape, 'we shall resume this lesson tomorrow evening.'
He turned and swept from his office. Malfoy mouthed, 'Remedial Potions?' at Harry behind Snape's back before following him.
Ah!! Not a wise decision! However, I'm glad Harry realises it's so much easier to enter his mind when he's angry. Awareness is the first step. A shame he doesn't take it up a notch!
I love this little shot because Snape's not even turning around to greet the boy. I love doing that myself, as often as I can actually. Yet, it's not so common for people to do so because most think it's best to always turn around to greet someone. True it's polite, but personally, I can't resist the urge to not turn around from what I'm doing and still greet a person. I'm never ignoring them, I always acknowledge them because I can do it even though I'm doing something else. What I hate however is when people just ignore you. It's like they can't do two things at the same time. When Snape ignores someone though, I do believe it's always on purpose though.
Okay, 'greet' is not what we could call 'you're late, Potter', but he's acknowledging him at least. I've observe that logical people do tend to do this when someone comes in and they're busy doing something which requires concentration. They'll want to focus still on what they're doing, but they will be able to handle something else all the same. For me it's like a tiny challenge, deduction is important to me and I always do it. Sometimes it annoys people because I say 'yes' before they're even finished. I rarely miss though, I'm usually right in my deductions of what they wanted to tell me. In this case, it could have been any student after all, but Snape knew it was Potter. It's a simple deduction from the fact that Potter didn't knock, he seemed to enter without a bang, and the time, but still a fun deduction when you're a logical person and don't like wasting time in small talk. I certainly do, my mother noticed this week how I don't look people in the eye when doing transactions. It's exactly because of that: let's avoid small talk and get down to business. Sometimes I feel like talking, when I don't however, don't try to coax me into small talk. You'll get quite a glare! That's my Snappish side! Therefore, I see Snape's reaction here as a silent warning. And there we have it, the next thing he asks is related to their 'business'.
Snape's desk has legs.
Oh please!! Give him some credit! Anyone who's been studying the art of human gestures will know looking down, blinking a lot or scratching one's nose when asked a question usually mean one is lying. Do you think the Head of Slytherin is unaware of that?! No wonder he says: "well, we'll soon find out, won't we". He said so in a smooth voice, too, it's obvious he knows he's just been lied to. But as a good Slytherin, he's not about to reveal his suspicions! He he!
I think Snape voices his thoughts lazily because of what I just explained: he knows it will once again be useless and that he's losing his time on a boy who won't do his homework. As a teacher, believe me, this can become an enormous source of stress: you all want your students to succeed, however, you can't do it for them! You can encourage them, push them, advice them and in Snape's case insult them so they may try a bit just to prove him wrong (I'm sure part of his complaints and vicious comments are intended to make sure students prove him wrong when he says something like: "You're lacking so much skills, it's a wonder you never killed yourself in an attempt to brew a potion" or something as depreciative as that. It will work on most teenagers, however, some will lose confidence, as with Longbottom. But back on the subject at hand: Snape cannot do it for the boy. He can show him, he can practise with him, but he has no power over Harry's achieving it or not nor his practising out of his lessons. And THAT is very frustrating which is why I say Snape is becoming tired of this. Not only does he strongly suspect the boy to have lied to him but he also knows he's not tried enough up to now. Wouldn't you be weary? I am renown to be a very patient teacher, demanding but patient, but even I would not put up with Harry's lack of efforts. If this was to be graded, he'd have a grade for his efforts which wouldn't be much! I think it's important to remember that when reading this chapter! Snape tries, but he's getting tired of losing his time and energy on Harry. It's not like he doesn't understand, it's the fact that he doesn't try to understand. Even Dumbledore took some moments before fleeing to impress the importance of his learning Occlumency but the boy still found a way to skive off his role in the war!! Who wouldn't be growing impatient?!
Quick thinking, as always ^_^
Looks like she's no good enough at charms and Snape is good enough to get Montague out of the toilet! I appreciate Snape's coolness in this matter, it shows how he can be 'nice' and not jump to conclusions. He's an investigator first of all, logical and cold, so he won't react like the other teachers would. Imagine McGonagall finding out one of her Gryffindors was stuck in a toilet, she'd jump out of her seat and run to the rescue or at least she'd sound worried! Not Snape. Then again, I wonder how much of his coolness is due to his believing Montague deserved what came his way?! Is it why he's not in such a hurry to know if he's come across any much harm?! I wish I knew. Also, it confirms that Snape is not so interested in Quidditch (in my opinion) because Snape didn't sound too happy at the prospect of finding his team's captain and chaser. Interesting!
From the HP Lexicon:
Montague (c. 1978 - present) Slytherin, c. 1989 - 1996, Q.
I can't help but sense a bit of weariness in there. Because Umbridge can't do it herself, because they had to interrupt the lesson or because it's such a stupid problem, we don't know. But I'd wager Snape is annoyed by a bit of everything!
For those who believe Snape was horrible for acting so badly with Harry after he looked into his Pensieve and cancelling his lessons, please consider this: Snape turned and swept out of his office after announcing the 'lesson' would resume on the next evening. Did he shove Potter out? No! What does it mean then? I think it simply means that to some extend, Snape trusts him enough to find the way out by himself AND not go through his personal belongings or steal from him.And that even though he has known (though never could prove) that Harry had stolen from him before. That ladies and gentlemen is a strong statement! I don't think Snape has proven annoyed beyond common sense just now so that he simply forgot to drive the boy out before leaving. No. If you don't trust someone you will make sure that this person does not have a single chance to steal from you or betray your intimacy. TRUST! When you don't have trust, what do you have left? Also remember that up to now, Snape has trusted Potter to practise Occlumency and try hard in and out of their lessons. However, we know that trust in Potter went to the dogs! Now, Potter is trusted once more by Snape with his most important thoughts, those in the Pensieve, along with his personal belongings: Potions ingredients, Snape's books and parchments, etc. He's trusted with all of those things at the same time.
For those of you who are interested, I found a very good scientific article about the' view of trusting and being trustworthy". http://www.neurosemantics.com/Articles/Trust.htm
I want to talk this subject through before it occurs later in this chapter because it is essential to me that we understand Snape's reaction of Harry's actions the second he turned around and looked into his Pensieve. I'm basing myself upon my views and also this web site by L. Michael Hall, Ph.D.
In a word, I believe the mess that will ensue is nothing more than a vicious circle of mistrust/lack of trust that resulted in a total human-made and ego-driven situation:
If you've followed the breach of trust that occurred as a result of all those people, humans, interacting together, you'll understand why everything was messed out. They either abused the confidence others put in them or skived their responsibilities by handing it out to others. To support my claims, let me quote that web site I mentioned earlier: "Trust is essential for every relationship. There is no relationship that's not based on trust. Working with and through others in business is based on trust. Leadership is based on trust. Intimacy is based on trust. " So you see, once trust is doubted, there cannot be a relationship which in this case means that there cannot be an efficient Order. And since Wand Oath and Secret Keeping exists in the wizarding world to ensure no one breaches the secrets of others, it is unforgivable that nothing towards that effect was done so that everyone involved could be privy to what was going on while also ensuring secrecy. After all, as mentioned here "Conversely, distrust, the lack of trust, behaviors that erode trust, and betrayal undermine relationship, effectiveness, and resourcefulness. Dennis and Michelle Reina (1999) put it succinctly in their book Trust and Betrayal in the Workplace, "Betrayal is systemic: it affects the whole system."
So the whole system was meant to fall apart and, in this case, it resulted in Sirius Black's death and the events that took place at the Ministry of Magic which surely affected more than one person. That's why my question towards Snape putting an end to the lessons always arose that question in me: why did no one react if this was so important?! Why did no one thought of begging for Harry? Why did no one do something to ensure that issue was taken care of? Where were the solutions: Harry had made sure the first solution (his lessons with Snape) was screwed up. Now what?! Didn't Sirius and Lupin consider something else? Surely someone knew where Dumbledore was hiding or if not, that they therefore had two choices: beg Snape and get HIS side of the story OR find another Occlumens. Why was that vital? Because we need to repair the damage when we've made a mistake. "When our behavior accidentally produce a result that we don't want and did not intent, we have to deal with that".As with Harry who has to deal with his mistake and apologize for breaching Snape's trust in him. "And we need to deal with it immediately by assuming responsibility to straighten things out. This means apologizing, making amends and bringing out actions under control so that they match our words. Trust is always earned and we earn it by our actions, by acting with consistency. This means conscientiously honoring our agreements."
Therefore, as I was saying before, Harry and all the others were as guilty in this case as Snape. They all got tangled up in their humanly weaknesses, which caused such large gaps in the trustful links they had established within the Order and the resistance. In this case, Harry's made a horrible mistake. He didn't think about the consequences enough and he didn't intend bad results like what happened. His biggest mistake was however not ASSUMING RESPONSIBILITY IMMEDIATELY. He made no amends and was in fact happier that way because Snape ignored him. Therefore, he didn't bring out actions to match his words because none were ever issued. Now doesn't it look as though Snape also skived off his responsibility?! I don't think so: when Harry broke into his Pensieve, he breached their mutual agreement. Even before that moment, he had already breached his promise to everyone to try to learn Occlumency as best he could, but of course Potter never mentioned that incriminating fact to anyone. Only we know and yet, the reader will still tend to put the fault onto Snape. Trust had not been earned, yet, Snape had kept giving him lessons. His actions spoke of consistency and consciously honouring his promises. He endured it because he was keeping his word. What about Harry? Did he try? Did he bloke his dreams? Did he mind his own business and was he secretive enough so that if the Dark Lord broke into his mind, he wouldn't give away all the Order's precious information? NOPE! In Harry's case, his words were empty promises, his actions were weak and feeble compared to his words. This was NOT the agreement. So who failed who here?! Pretty much everybody, but especially Harry.
As for Sirius and Lupin, I was very surprised we heard nothing to the effect that they had not made contact with Snape in the book. Especially Sirius who is Harry's godfather, hence his only responsible living parent. Yet did Sirius put aside his grudge against Snape for that? To make sure his godson did the right thing? NOPE! He skived off his responsibility as a godfather out of spite and would not even give Snape the benefit of doubt for a second. He immediately swore against the man as if he had done this just out of his own grudge. But Snape didn't. And when Dumbledore in a later chapter says he thought Snape could at least put his grudges aside, I cringed because he himself initiated this circle of mistrust and did not mention Harry's lack of efforts along with the other Order members' lack of efforts to correct the situation. It's like he imputed the whole responsibility of the lessons on Snape's shoulders. Harry is 16, that has got to count as being an adequate age to be responsible of his own action! And if not, then Sirius should have been accounted for instead. As for Harry silently cursing Snape for Sirius' death in the end, to me, it is nothing more than a way for Harry to forget his own responsibility in the matter. He doesn't want to think : "Oh, because I didn't put enough efforts in my lessons and didn't practise, not to mention I explored the most secret thoughts of a teacher who trusted me enough to leave me alone in his office while he ran to the rescue of one of his students, my godfather died! What did I do?! I was so stupid and conceited!!" Yes, but that happy day of consciousness may never occur to Harry, and therefore, in the minds of soooo many fans, Snape will remain the big bad wolf who contributed to kill Sirius, the teenager who wouldn't grow up.
Therefore, my conclusion on the subject is the same as above: this mess was created by intertwined human feelings which pretty much all bordered on trust and breach of trust. I understand that we all have our own limits. In Severus' case, his limits as to whom he can trust or not were thinner than most people because of his background: influenced by his being a Slytherin, having grown with potentially violent/disturbing parents or people who betrayed his trust time and time again, and having to go through all sorts of humiliation through the hands of the highly praised Marauders who even got away with near murder. And then again, who wouldn't react badly to one person you hate reading your Journal when you trusted them with it?! Think of how you would react to this if you were helping that same person, say, to study for its most important exam, you spent time teaching but realised that after months, the person was still not even trying and did not even study. On the contrary, the person would even tell you that he/she'd had gone shopping on a day he/she was supposed to study. But still, you had given your word and you wanted to help that person even though she/he is not putting efforts. You do it for the cause, you give time and your personal space for that. And then, one evening, the person comes in late and then another comes to get you to help another guy. Okay, no problem, you will help the person and resume the lesson the next evening even though you had planned a nice evening alone in your quarters. After saving said person, imagine coming back to your office to witness that same lazy and sloppy person still there, but not only that, he/she's reading your personal journal. Your most secret thoughts are in there, things you never want people to know but there it hits you in the face! The little twit whom you had trusted to find his way out of your office is there shredding the last hope you had in him. Do you want to see that person again soon? No! Do you want to keep giving your time and efforts for him/her? No! Do you trust him/her now? No! And you tell yourself: why did I ever do it?! That person cares nothing for me and he/she betrays me in such a horrible way. Therefore, no you don't want to see that person again soon, not on your personal time, surely not unless you're a very very virtuous person with no self-esteem! You also feel like slapping that person when you discover what he/she's done, but you don't though you are very close. And now my question to you: will you give more of your time to this person so she/he can pass his very important exam for which he/she had yet to make a bit of effort for?! No, because it seems from his/her actions that this person doesn't care enough and doesn't think it's that important. Well, let him/her fail then, what's the difference giving lessons or not since the person never tried enough in the first place? All it brought you is pain and humiliation. Will you go on holding up to your promise? What about his part of the bargain? And that is why, ladies, I think Snape was rather lenient and very controlled in this whole affair. Especially when he caught Harry doing it and after when he had to deal with him in class. Yes, and I shall explain later on when this subject arises, you'll understand what I mean.
Oh! And I was forgetting about Harry's breach of Snape's trust only reinforcing the negative mistrust Severus cultivated over the years. It may even have been the last straw! Fortunately, it was not or else, Snape would never have taken the hint Potter gave him when later they'll all end up in Umbridge's office. No, even then, Snape listened to the boy, which proves that this breach of his confidence towards the boy was not total nor did it trigger his turning back to the dark side. But it could have! He could have thought the Potter boy was again trying to lure him into another humiliating experience, but he didn't let that stop him, he did prevent the Order and went out to check on Sirius. The moral of this story: we never know when someone will reach their triggering point when trust is involved. We never know when our inner-Death Eater will awake.
As a conclusion, let me again quote this from L. Michael Hall, Ph.DWe actually undermine the trust others can put in us when we do not share information. It puts them into a position of guessing, assuming, and mind-reading. It is hardly ever in our best interest to be secretive. What do you feel when vital information is not shared with you? We typically feel as though we have not been trusted or valued.
NOTE: I'll use green and orange along with normal colours in this scene. Green is to underline the important passages I'm analysing about Harry and the Marauders and their actions. Orange is for Lily.
'I would also advise Transfiguration, because Aurors frequently need to Transfigure or Untransfigure in their work. And I ought to tell you now, Potter, that I do not accept students into my NEWT classes unless they have achieved "Exceeds Expectations" or higher at Ordinary Wizarding Level. I'd say you're averaging "Acceptable" at the moment, so you'll need to put in some good hard work before the exams to stand a chance of continuing. Then you ought to do Charms, always useful, and Potions. Yes, Potter, Potions,' she added, with the merest flicker of a smile. 'Poisons and antidotes are essential study for Aurors. And I must tell you that Professor Snape absolutely refuses to take students who get anything other than "Outstanding" in their OWLs, so -'
Professor Umbridge gave her most pronounced cough yet.
'May I offer you a cough drop, Dolores?' Professor McGonagall asked curtly, without looking at Professor Umbridge.
Professor McGonagall got to her feet, too, and in her case this was a much more impressive move; she towered over Professor Umbridge.
'Potter,' she said in ringing tones, 'I will assist you to become an Auror if it is the last thing I do! If I have to coach you nightly, I will make sure you achieve the required results!' [Lady Claudia: I really wonder how she'll pull it off!! ]
'But why haven't you got Occlumency lessons any more?' said Hermione, frowning.
'I've told you,' Harry muttered. 'Snape reckons I can carry on by myself now I've got the basics.'
'So you've stopped having funny dreams?' said Hermione sceptically.
'Pretty much,' said Harry, not looking at her.
'Well, I don't think Snape should stop until you're absolutely sure you can control them!' said Hermione indignantly. 'Harry, I think you should go back to him and ask -'
'No,' said Harry forcefully. 'Just drop it, Hermione, OK?'
Yes, go Hermione! You clever little thing! Well, it won't do much good if Harry doesn't tell the truth though. A pity! But she's doing her job and that's why she's my favourite!
And indeed, she should feel indignant, but not towards Snape.
It was not only the prospect of breaking into Umbridge's office and using her fire to speak to Sirius that was making him feel nervous, though that was certainly bad enough; today also happened to be the first time Harry would be in close proximity to Snape since Snape had thrown him out of his office.
After lying in bed for a while thinking about the day ahead, Harry got up very quietly and moved across to the window beside Nevilles bed, and stared out on a truly glorious morning. The sky was a clear, misty, opalescent blue. Directly ahead of him, Harry could see the towering beech tree below which his father had once tormented Snape. He was not sure what Sirius could possibly say to him that would make up for what he had seen in the Pensieve, but he was desperate to hear Sirius's own account of what had happened, to know of any mitigating factors there might have been, any excuse at all for his father's behaviour…
Oh now you're afraid!! That's our Potter: when he recognises his faults, then he will feel shame and fear. I think that's healthy for him to feel like that, to feel guilty. However, I do not approve of his risking their necks and Sirius' because he 'can't wait' to know the truth. Is that a matter of life or death? Nope! But again, Potter can't wait and he recklessly follows the path of rule breaking because he judges the situation to require such drastic measures. However, remember that this is exactly the kind of judgement Snape has always warned others about towards Harry: "Don't let him have his ways or he'll always think he can do reckless things without so much consequences. And one day, you'll see, he's going to put all of our necks on the line!" That is Snape's main message where Harry is concerned, right. And there's the proof again. I'm glad in that book both Ron and Hermione mentioned that to Harry, about his 'heroic unconscious recklessness'. A shame he didn't take the hint!
Mitigating: to soothe or mollify especially by concessions, pacify. I'm also looking forward to anything that might discriminate the Marauders, however, Sirius wasn't very convincing and after analysing the whole scene, it's hard to believe James and Sirius weren't bad boys.
By the time they reached the dungeons, neither Harry nor Ron was speaking to Hermione. Undeterred, she took advantage of their silence to maintain an uninterrupted flow of dire warnings, all uttered under her breath in a vehement hiss that caused Seamus to waste five whole minutes checking his cauldron for leaks.
Snape, meanwhile, seemed to have decided to act as though Harry were invisible. Harry was, of course, well-used to this tactic, as it was one of Uncle Vernon's favourites, and on the whole was grateful he had to suffer nothing worse. In fact, compared to what he usually had to endure from Snape in the way of taunts and snide remarks, he found the new approach something of an improvement, and was pleased to find that when left well alone, he was able to concoct an Invigoration Draught quite easily. At the end of the lesson he scooped some of the potion into a flask, corked it and took it up to Snape's desk for marking, feeling that he might at last have scraped an '£'.
He had just turned away when he heard a smashing noise. Malfoy gave a gleeful yell of laughter. Harry whipped around. His potion sample lay in pieces on the floor and Snape was surveying him with a look of gloating pleasure.
'Whoops,' he said softly. 'Another zero, then, Potter.'
Harry was too incensed to speak. He strode back to his cauldron, intending to fill another flask and force Snape to mark it, but saw to his horror that the rest of the contents had vanished.
'I'm sorry!' said Hermione, with her hands over her mouth. 'I'm really sorry, Harry. I thought you'd finished, so I cleared up!'
Harry could not bring himself to answer. When the bell rang, he hurried out of the dungeon without a backwards glance, and made sure that he found himself a seat between Neville and Seamus for lunch so that Hermione could not start nagging him again about using Umbridge's office.
Small note: no wonder so many people like to compare Hermione's ways with Snape! Hissing warnings!
Never trust a dormant snake! Snape is the proof that still water run deep! And it once again proves that Snape will get back at you or get his revenge when you least expect it. Especially when you think all is well after all. No, Slytherins love their revenge to be served cold! He won't do it when his opponent is expecting it! That's way too Gryffindor anyhow.
Notice how Snape also made sure to do that after Hermione had 'Evanescoed' his cauldron. The sly thing. What surprised me is how come Harry is still so gullible. Surely he had some kind of idea in the back of his mind that Snape would again take his revenge in such a backhanded way?! If not, then he truly is a gullible little Gryffindor. It happened before, why not now?! When I read the "Whoops" the first time I read the book, the sign "Snape's revenge in action" popped into mind immediately. And then it was followed by my thinking from Harry's point of view: "Oh boy! I had it coming didn't I?!" But no, that's not what he thought at all and I was so surprised or rather disappointment that he didn't take this as a small price to pay for his own breach of trust. To me, this was also the perfect revenge because of the correlation between both incidents: Harry acted as though he didn't mean it and it was almost an 'accident', he didn't apologize even! Snape did the same thing, he acted as though he 'didn't mean it', innocently. Therefore, unlike Snape's other revenges throughout the series, this one was equal in meaning and intent. Not in gravity of course, but he got his message across. A shame Potter didn't seem to notice that!
There may be a mistake, but wouldn't 'Reparo' help a tiny bit here?! The potion may not be as good as the original sample, but still gradable.
See how Harry is conscious of his foolish pranks? He purposely avoids Hermione so he won't be nagged about it! He knows what's right and what's not, thus I'm pretty sure that's exactly this that ticks poor Snape so much about the boy: he knows he's being reckless or that he acts without proper planning or sharing his information with adults first. That's why he warns others about Harry all the time, he doesn't think Harry is simply innocent, he believes Harry has his share of responsibility in the adventures he ends up with and that's what he wants the boy to be punished for. As for the incident with the muggle car in Book2 for example: he doesn't believe Harry is not to be accounted for in a severe way because he didn't think. For him, that's more than enough to provide ample punishment. However, from Dumbledore and McGonagall's point of view, they check off Harry's actions as being foolish because he didn't think which is why they are so forgiving. In my humble opinion, I think they all reacted extremely: Snape too much, the others not enough. I would have settled for a month of detentions to impress the gravity of the situation. Especially since one of my teachers would express his wish to expel a student for such a stupid stunt. But I wasn't there, was I! Ha ha!
What Snape doesn't seem to understand however is how Harry does not intend on proving he's the best like James used to be. Yes, he's reckless like his father, but not for the attention and glory it will bring upon him. If only Snape could see that, then he may act with the boy differently. Too bad!
'No,' said Harry, 'it's nothing like that… I just wanted to talk… about my dad.'
They exchanged a look of great surprise, but Harry did not have time to feel awkward or embarrassed; his knees were becoming sorer by the second and he guessed five minutes had already passed from the start of the diversion; George had only guaranteed him twenty. He therefore plunged immediately into the story of what he had seen in the Pensieve.
When he had finished, neither Sirius nor Lupin spoke for a moment. Then Lupin said quietly, 'I wouldn't like you to judge your father on what you saw there, Harry. He was only fifteen -'
'I'm fifteen!' said Harry heatedly.
'Look, Harry' said Sirius placatingly, 'James and Snape hated each other from the moment they set eyes on each other, it was just one of those things, you can understand that, can't you? I think James was everything Snape wanted to be - he was popular, he was good at Quidditch - good at pretty much everything. And Snape was just this little oddball who was up to his eyes in the Dark Arts, and James - whatever else he may have appeared to you, Harry - always hated the Dark Arts.'
'Yeah,' said Harry, 'but he just attacked Snape for no good reason, just because - well, just because you said you were bored,' he finished, with a slightly apologetic note in his voice.
'I'm not proud of it,' said Sirius quickly.
Lupin looked sideways at Sirius, then said, 'Look, Harry, what you've got to understand is that your father and Sirius were the best in the school at whatever they did - everyone thought they were the height of cool - if they sometimes got a bit carried away -'
'If we were sometimes arrogant little berks, you mean,' said Sirius.
'He kept messing up his hair,' said Harry in a pained voice.
Sirius and Lupin laughed.
'I'd forgotten he used to do that,' said Sirius affectionately.
'Was he playing with the Snitch?' said Lupin eagerly.
'Yeah,' said Harry, watching uncomprehendingly as Sirius and Lupin beamed reminiscently. 'Well… I thought he was a bit of an idiot.'
'Of course he was a bit of an idiot!' said Sirius bracingly, 'we were all idiots! Well - not Moony so much,' he said fairly, looking at Lupin.
But Lupin shook his head. 'Did I ever tell you to lay off Snape?' he said. 'Did I ever have the guts to tell you I thought you were out of order?'
'Yeah, well,' said Sirius, 'you made us feel ashamed of ourselves sometimes… that was something…"
'And,' said Harry doggedly, determined to say everything that was on his mind now he was here, 'he kept looking over at the girls by the lake, hoping they were watching him!'
'Oh, well, he always made a fool of himself whenever Lily was around,' said Sirius, shrugging, 'he couldn't stop himself showing off whenever he got near her.'
'How come she married him?' Harry asked miserably. 'She hated him!'
'Nah, she didn't,' said Sirius.
'She started going out with him in seventh year,' said Lupin.
'Once James had deflated his head a bit,' said Sirius.
'And stopped hexing people just for the fun of it,' said Lupin.
'Even Snape?' said Harry.
Well,' said Lupin slowly, 'Snape was a special case. I mean, he never lost an opportunity to curse James so you couldn't really expect James to take that lying down, could you?'
'And my mum was OK with that?'
'She didn't know too much about it, to tell you the truth,' said Sirius. '1 mean, James didn't take Snape on dates with her and jinx him in front of her, did he?'
Sirius frowned at Harry, who was still looking unconvinced.
'Look,' he said, 'your father was the best friend I ever had and he was a good person. A lot of people are idiots at the age of fifteen. He grew out of it.'
'Yeah, OK,' said Harry heavily. 'I just never thought I'd feel sorry for Snape.'
'Now you mention it,' said Lupin, a faint crease between his eyebrows, 'how did Snape react when he found you'd seen all this?'
'He told me he'd never teach me Occlumency again,' said Harry indifferently, 'like that's a big disappoint—'
'He WHAT?' shouted Sirius, causing Harry to jump and inhale a mouthful of ashes.
'Are you serious, Harry?' said Lupin quickly. 'He's stopped giving you lessons?'
'Yeah,' said Harry, surprised at what he considered a great over-reaction. 'But it's OK, I don't care, it's a bit of a relief to tell you the -'
'I'm coming up there to have a word with Snape!' said Sirius forcefully, and he actually made to stand up, but Lupin wrenched him back down again.
'If anyone's going to tell Snape it will be me!' he said firmly. 'But Harry, first of all, you're to go back to Snape and tell him that on no account is he to stop giving you lessons — when Dumbledore hears -'
'I can't tell him that, he'd kill me!' said Harry, outraged. 'You didn't see him when we got out of the Pensieve.'
'Harry there is nothing so important as you learning Occlumency!' said Lupin sternly. 'Do you understand me? Nothing!'
'OK, OK,' said Harry, thoroughly discomposed, not to mention annoyed. Til… I'll try and say something to him… but it won't be-'